Hundreds in Monthly Bonuses at Crypto Sites
2006 Randy Saylor  

Chances are you’re playing for a bonus at some time in your online poker pursuits. Some online poker players never play at a poker site unless they’re clearing a bonus of some kind. These players are known as bonus chasers, and dedicated bonus chasers know all about the monthly bonuses offered by the Cryptologic sites. This extensive FAQ gives you all you need to know about getting started.

This article is broken down into three parts: Part One and Part Two are essentially an FAQ. Part Three details the specific offerings of each site.

What is Crypto?

Crypto is shorthand for the Cryptologic Network. This is a series of online gaming sites sharing the same software and player base. Although they are primarily online casino sites, the Cryptos have an excellent interface for poker, and are generally beatable at poker.

Why play poker at Crypto sites?

Simply put, bonuses! Taken as a group, the Crypto bonuses are the best on the internet in an era when sites are requiring as many as ten hands played per dollar of bonus.

Sounds good, what are the sites?

William Hill, Interpoker, and Littlewoods are probably the most commonly played, but UK Betting, Poker Plex, Classic Poker, Caribbean Sun, Total Bet, Ritz Club, and Betfair have similar bonuses and are equally open to all players (with only two exceptions).

What’s the deal with

It’s the same as Caribbean Sun. There are two URLs that can be used to access the site.

Are all of the sites open to (insert country here) players?

The only reported restrictions are on US players (Ritz Club and Betfair) and Australians (Ritz Club).

Can I join every site?

Yes, unless you are restricted by geography.

What games are offered?

All Crypto sites share the same software and player base, so game choices are the same at all sites. Fixed Limit Holdem tables range from 0.25/0.50 to 150/300, although available games above 30/60 are rare. Pot-Limit games don’t get a lot of action above 1./2. No-limit up to 25/50 blinds. Low-limit Stud, Omaha, and Omaha High-Low usually have a few tables available. Single- and multi-table tournaments are included as well.

How is the traffic?

The Crypto network, taken as a whole, ranks about average for numbers of players online, with numbers similar to those found at Pacific Poker. Since the sites are the poker room components of casino sites popular in Europe, traffic increases significantly in the European evening hours (afternoon for US players).

How soft are the games?

At full-ring, low-stakes, fixed-limit tables, the play is very tight, especially during US evening hours. Play loosens up at these tables during other times, including weekends. Shorthanded tables tend to be extra loose, and are usually beatable. Guaranteed prize pool tournaments tend to have an overlay (the contributed buy-ins do not reach the guaranteed amount).

What is an Ecash PIN?

Most Crypto sites use a very antiquated method of verifying identity: they send you a PIN (personal identification number) via post (snail mail) to your registered home address. You must use this PIN when initiating any cashout from those sites. If your funds are tight, you might elect to make only a small deposit at a site so your PIN will be sent. Currently, only Littlewoods, Poker Plex, and Ritz Club are requiring PINs.

What is the withdrawal fee?

Most of the Cryptos (except William Hill) charge a $1 fee for cashing out. All amounts used to be rounded up to the next dollar; so withdrawing $50.01 meant you would receive $50. Withdrawing $51 meant you would also receive $50. Unfortunately, this loophole has been closed; so try to make your withdrawals as large as possible to reduce the impact of this fee.

How is the customer service?

Respectable. Email responses are accurate and timely. Cashouts to Neteller are usually received within 48 hours.

These sites are generally European or British. What about currency conversion?

Most online gaming is denominated in US Dollars, so most players, even in other countries, have US Dollar Neteller accounts. If this is your situation, it is best to elect to have a USD account with each Crypto site. If you elect to play a table denominated in (British Pounds) or € (Euros), the site will perform a currency conversion (no fee) when you sit down at the table.

If you elect to have a or € account, or are required to by the poker site (UK Betting and Total Bet only allow ), the sites will charge a 1.9% fee on deposit and withdrawal to convert your funds. This is similar to Neteller or credit card conversion fees, but this added cost of playing these sites means you should restrict your deposits and withdrawals if you have ample funds available (or just avoid those sites).

The FAQ is continued in Part Two.

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